Messing with Evil: Lessons from an Exorcism

Posted by Christie Martin - January 28th, 2014

Weather disasters are a form of natural evil.

I know, I know. We don’t talk about evil anymore. If you’re made uncomfortable by it, fine and dandy. Move along. Nothing to see here. But those of us who have looked in the eyes of a sociopath will tell you…evil exists and must be contended with. No question.

Evil men, indeed.

Evil comes in many forms. There are plenty of examples of evil incarnate, the actual embodiment of evil, in the likes of Pol Pot, Hitler, or Stalin. Then there are the disembodied evils to account for as well like the impersonal evils of natural disasters. Then there are the disembodied evils that are persons: the demonic.

Most people will never come into direct contact with those, thank God, but some do. With the uptick in the ghost chasing hobby, more and more people will. I want to share with you a story of a family, an actual Protestant family no less, who had members become possessed. They moved into a house where bad things were going on, were uneducated about dealing with these sorts of things, and got themselves so deep into a terrible mess that the Catholic Church intervened with an exorcism.

Let me simply pass along a bit of information to you that would have helped them.

First of all, remember always the good news that possession is not something that just suddenly happens to a person. There are plenty of stages and steps all along the way to put an end to it. The better news is that each of these are handled very well by prayer, repentance, and frequent Confession of sins. In fact, living a Sacramental life is the best medicine for such ills. It’s preventative medicine. But here are some of the stages of interaction with that disembodied and very personal evil that this particular family went through…

The family moved into a house that for reasons in its history was infested with evil. Infestations affect houses, animals, or objects (Fr. Gabriele Amorth, An Exorcist Tells His Story). In their attempts to rid themselves of the infestation, they took the advice of spiritualists and performed some occult practices and made matters much worse.

How did that make it worse?
When you involve yourself with the occult, you are aligning your will with practices directly opposed to God’s will. Both the Bible and the Catholic Church warn against dealing with any occult practices: future telling, summoning the dead, or practicing sorcery. Even on a simple level, seeking out the advice of a medium or a spiritualist is problematic for a Christian. Obedience to God is an act of the will toward God and doing something expressly forbidden by Him is an act of the will away from God. Demons love that. In fact, perverting your will away from God is practically what the whole point of their interaction with humans is all about. When you are attempting to fight something like an infestation and then take your will and put it in opposition to God’s will that very act will act like a reward for the demon’s efforts. Thus rewarded, the demon will increase its behavior that produced the desired result.

On a less simple level, God and His Church have very good reason to warn us away from occult practices. Certain actions, like prayer, strengthen our connection with God. Certain actions, like blasphemy, break our connection with God completely. There are many other actions or sins that merely weaken it. Dealing with the occult in a purposeful and knowing opposition to God’s command will break your connection with Him. Dealing with the occult in ignorance makes that connection weak. Let me explain it this way. God is continually broadcasting grace to us like a giant, holy radio transmitter. He has given us the settings to tune into it via His commands and injunctions. We have a choice to tune in or not. When we begin the process of sin we experience “station drift” and instead of tuning into Grace, we start to hear static. Trucking with the occult seriously hits that tuner so that we are in danger of losing our station completely.

Consider the commands and strictures of Christian life as simply the frequencies needed to tune into Grace.

This family, Christian or not, was ignorant of their faith. They sought out their church for advice, which was good, but then they sought out the advice of spiritualists. They didn’t seem to know any better. I wanted to be sure that you did.

At any rate, here is their story.

The Exorcisms of Latoya Ammons
By Marisa Kwiatkowski

A woman and three children who claimed to be possessed by demons. A 9-year-old boy walking backward up a wall in the presence of a family case manager and hospital nurse.

Gary police Capt. Charles Austin said it was the strangest story he had ever heard.

Austin, a 36-year veteran of the Gary Police Department, said he initially thought Indianapolis resident Latoya Ammons and her family concocted an elaborate tale as a way to make money. But after several visits to their home and interviews with witnesses, Austin said simply, “I am a believer.”

Not everyone involved with the family was inclined to believe its incredible story. And many readers will find Ammons’ supernatural claims impossible to accept.

(click here to continue reading)

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